Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD)’s upcoming and as-yet unnamed streamer will aim to replicate the reach of the traditional cable bundle, according to HBO & HBO Max chief Casey Bloys.
Speaking on the final day of Series Mania Forum, Bloys said the combined HBO Max and Discovery+ offering set to launch later this quarter in the US needed “to appeal to as many people as possible” in order to make economic sense.
“Streaming is how people want to watch… but for HBO we have to work out how to make it a profitable business,” said Bloys, who took the top job at HBO in 2022 reporting directly to WBD president and CEO David Zaslav.
“Historically we have made a lot of money [at HBO] and that has allowed us to make a lot of great shows, so we have to now work out how to set this out for the next 10, 20 or 50 years.
“The combined product gives us a good way to do that, we want a product that appeals to as many people as we can – it can’t just be HBO shows, or reality shows, or whatever. It needs to be a combination for whatever mood the viewer is in.
“It is replicating that cable bundle, where you can get a wide array of programming – and frankly, that is what we are seeing all the streamers doing.”
HBO’s upcoming slate includes the fourth season of Succession and another run of The White Lotus, as well as new installments of House Of The Dragon and Euphoria, but non-US programming retains importance Bloys said.
WBD spent much of 2022 reshaping its operations with cuts across content and staff, including the disbandment of HBO Max’s EMEA team under Antony Root, as revealed by TBI.
Root himself exits in April and WBD is now commissioning European originals and acquiring through regional teams for both streaming and TV channels, with shows coming to Bloys via WBD international chief Gerhard Zeiler.
Bloys said the aim is to tie the US and international teams closer together, “which we never did” previously.
“The domestic [US] and international operation didn’t have a lot of contact regarding programming. so Gerhard and his teams and mine are looking to be very connected.
“We want to look across the globe as one team,” he said, working together more to decide “where we are putting our bets.”